With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
H.Y.P.E.D. stands for Healthier You Persisting Every Day, a nod to the founder's own struggles with her weight before she earned her personal-training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Driven by her battles with maintaining a healthful diet and exercise regimen, she strives to help others achieve their fitness goals, from building muscle tone and lowering cholesterol levels to fitting into their high-school fedora. In her boot-camp classes, she inspires patrons of all fitness levels to get whipped into shape in a positive, supportive atmosphere, free of drill-sergeant-like shouting. She offers further motivation with nutrition counseling and personal-training sessions and urges clients to call her for additional support outside of class.
Playtime Apollo Beach provides a safe environment for children ages 5 and under to work on two vital skills of childhood—socializing with peers and running around. During open-play sessions, toddlers hold free reign over a colorful playroom filled with padded floors and toddler-friendly toys, which let them do everything from jump into a pool of foam noodles to drive a plastic car without worrying about whether a cop will put them to bed. Kids can also join summer-camp sessions in which they play games and participate in art projects with themes such as space, the USA, and the zoo.
Away from the amusement parks and tourist hotspots Florida is known for, its rivers wind along sandy beaches, wildlife habitats, and lush marshlands. Canoe Outpost's cabin rentals and fleet of kayaks and canoes allow access to these natural attractions, thanks to their steadfast crew which helps paddlers launch into the Little Manatee River. Opportunities to paddle, hike, and arm-wrestle fish pepper the rivers, whose calmer areas allow for cool, refreshing swims.
Freedom Fairways Golf & Tennis 18-hole executive course packs the experience of a full round into a modest 3,099-yard layout. Playing to a par of 63, the course presents a favorable layout for novices, who can also elect to rent clubs from the pro shop unless they want to see what they can shoot using only a tire iron. The facility also encompasses outdoor tennis courts with plexicushion surfaces designed to reduce wear-and-tear on players' feet.
The crew at Kayak Valet has one mission: to get more people out and enjoying the local waterways and scenery via kayaks or paddleboards. Since storing, hauling, unloading, reloading, and potty training their own kayaks can deter people from boating, the team sets up shop to cancel out such deterrents. They take care of nearly every task, bringing all equipment necessary for a leisurely paddle on puddles of all sizes right to the launch site. The crew will pick up and deliver equipment to popular launch sites within Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee Counties. To keep the aquatic adventure accessible, the shop rents only kayaks and standup paddleboards that can be piloted by anyone, experienced or not. Additionally, they give visitors tips on paddling and safety techniques and sell new kayaks, paddleboards, and accessories.